Stop endless to do lists. Create a MAP to your goals.

Hello, and welcome back!

Today is Day 2 of the 7-Day “Transform Your Body, Transform Your Mind” Challenge, and I’m so happy you’re here with me!

Yesterday, I talked about the first step of creating goals you will actually accomplish, and that was: Outcome. Specifically, we said to ask yourself “What is the Outcome I want?”

This question is then followed by asking “Why?” Why do you want this goal? Why now?

So, now that you know what you want and why you want it, let’s talk about the next step: How? Easy! We create a MAP!

7-day-challenge-map

Now, this is where you might be tempted to break out your planners and bullet journals and go to town scheduling tasks and activities that could potentially overwhelm us. We won’t do that yet, but when we do, we will feel a lot more in control over our day.

Creating our MAP: Massive Action Plan

Instead of figuring out where you can fit tasks into your overloaded days, do a brain dump of all the stuff that’s cluttering your head. Write out all the tasks that you think you’ll need to get done or the activities that you know you need to do on a piece of paper.

(One piece of paper per project is best!)

Don’t censor your thoughts. If it’s a phone call to the doctor or writing a marketing campaign or going to the office supply store, whatever to-do’s that need to get done today, this week, this month, etc, write them out.

It may seem like I just created more stress for you because you just vomited out 30 activities that need to happen before the end of the day, but this step is important because your Why changes your How.

First, look at all the stuff you just vomited up, and look at it through the lens, “What is the outcome I want?” or “What outcome is more important to me?” (In case there’s a situation where two projects may be vying for your time and attention.)

Then, go through the brain vomit and group together activities and tasks. Maybe they can be grouped together by location, time, deadlines, or they could even be delegated out. And some could be crossed off your list altogether because you realize that you don’t need to do that activity after all.

So now, instead of 30 tasks staring back at you, you actually only have 3 or 4 activities because they have been grouped together.

After you do that, you calendarize the activities, complete with assigning a time budget to the activity as you would a monetary budget.

How is this easier?

Perception around the degree of difficulty of a project or goal circles around how many steps it takes to complete a task. When we complain about a new goal, like working out or cooking whole foods, we go through an elaborate story about all the intricate steps that need to happen in order to complete our routine.

For example, if working out is too difficult we may say something like: Driving to the gym is tough during rush hour; the parking is a mess; then I have to fumble for my scan card; the lockers are a hassle; the changing room is gross; the exercise equipment needs to be cleaned; I have to wait for my favorite treadmill; then I have to wait for the showers…

You get the drill. It becomes lengthy and intricate. Yet, we think nothing of going to an event or activity that we like to do, like the movies or going out to eat. When describing those activities, we’d probably wrap it up in 2-3 steps max. “I get in the car, and drive to the theatre, and boom, I’m there having a good time.”

MAP-ing as a Skill

Creating a MAP like this make take a lot longer than scheduling appointments and tasks into your favorite planner, but what you get out of it is a system that tells you if you even need those appointments or tasks in the first place.

Maybe you realize that the way you were told to do a project is actually not efficient, and you could probably cut a lot of steps in the middle and still come to the same outcome. Or, maybe you realize that the project that seemed to be the Hot Project, should actually be delayed and traded up with another project that could give you better leads or return on your investment.

When you are guided by your Why, the How to get to your outcome will feel freer and dynamic. You’ll feel more in control over your time and decisions, instead of feeling like the day is running you.

When you know your Outcome and Why you’re doing it, you can easily filter all the white noise of your life into manageable groups of activities. Your processes will become more efficient, and you will eventually make quicker progress toward your goals.

Your Turn: Please share your insights in the comments below, or feel free to use the image to post on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter with the hashtag #TransformIn2017.

Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Liza
 

PS

I will be moving to a self-hosted site soon, and I don’t know if I will be able to move my blog subscribers with me. So, I’m collecting email addresses just in case. I’d love it if you would enter in your name and email address just to let me know that you’d like to move over with me. If not, that’s cool! 🙂

 

PPS

For those of you who wanted daily workout inspiration, here is the workout + smoothie for tomorrow’s 15-Minute Fix.

TUESDAY’S 15-MINUTE FIX

(Click HERE to get details and links to instructions/form tutorials!)

todays-workout-2

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, or you could also fill out this form!

Thank you and I’ll see you again tomorrow!

How to stick to your goals

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the first day of the 7-Day “Transform Your Body, Transform Your Mind” Challenge! I’m happy you’re here with me!

New Year’s Day is the perfect day to tackle something new and life-changing. The air is filled with such hope and optimism, it’s like free energy and motivation. So, let’s ride the euphoria with a little dreaming and goal-setting!

Today, we’ll focus on the very first step of really productive, life-changing, stick-to-it goals: Outcome.

7-day-challenge

It may sound strange to start with the last step, but without knowing your target, you will waste time, energy, and precious motivation on tasks that get you nowhere.

The Peer Pressure of New Year’s Resolutions

Most people have a love-hate relationship with goals, especially New Year’s resolutions. They love the idea of them, but hate making them because they know, deep down or otherwise, that nothing will really change.

There’s a feeling of newness and universality when it comes to goals this time of year, and it’s easy to be swept away by the outpouring of goal-setting.

“Yeah, I need to lose weight, too.”

“I definitely need to get more organized.”

“I’m gonna start eating healthy.”

“I want to lose weight” is a common enough goal, but what does that even mean? Will you lose fat? Will you lose a limb? Legs are heavy, right?

And what if you gain muscle? Muscle weighs more than fat, will you feel bad about gaining muscle weight?

“I want to be healthy” is also a common goal, but what does healthy mean? What does healthy look like?

I know that we’ve heard or said other goals that were similarly vague. It’s no wonder that New Year’s Resolutions have a 90% failure rate. There’s no way you’d be set up for success with goals like that.

The problem is, that most goals don’t stick because they were made randomly or superficially, usually on the heels of hearing another person’s goal or resolution. And, they were made knowing full well that they weren’t going to be kept.

What’s worse: we usually make the goals because honestly? We really, really, really want to make those positive changes in our lives.

Making Goals That Stick: The First Step

When we make goals just to make them, it’s like we’re throwing spaghetti on the wall, wondering if anything will stick.

Instead of trying to make goals that everyone else is doing, or goals that you think you ought to have, try using these best practices as a guide:

Begin with the end in mind. The best way to find goals that stick, would be to think about the outcome you want. The more specific and detailed you can be, the better. I mean, you should be able to see, feel, hear, smell what your outcome will be.

For example, if you want to lose weight, you need to know what you want to look and feel like. You’ll need to think about what it takes to achieve and maintain that weight. You’ll need to envision what your new everyday will look like.

Write this all out on a piece of paper. Draw it out if you have the inclination.

Find your Why. Then, after you know the outcome you seek, you’ll need to find your reason. Why did you choose this outcome. Dig deep. The more it resonates with your core values the better. Why do you want this goal? Why now?

Write it out as detailed as you can. The more real your language, the more it sounds like you, the better! Use those visceral, gritty, juicy, delicious words that will excite you and get you going.

If this feels a little too frou-frou for you, here’s a little illustration. If I were to have a weight loss goal, which goal would have more staying power? This one:

“I need to be healthy, so I need to lose weight.”

or,

“The body I want is strong and healthy and never gets sick. I do this by giving it what it needs: good, whole foods and movement. I lift weights safely and effectively to meet the needs of my everyday life–like when I shop at the grocery store or process shipment for work or shovel snow in the driveway. I keep my body strong and healthy in order to serve my family, community, and world at a higher level. When I transform myself, I can transform my world.”

I think it’s clear that the second one has a more relevant Why that speaks to me in my language.

The more your Why resonates with your values, the more you can focus on your goal. Your Why will also dictate How you will achieve your goals. With a deeper emotional connection, the idea of “What should I do?” will start to take care of itself.

With a big enough Why, your How will fall in place.

Tomorrow, we will dive deeper into creating better task lists. For now, I want you to ask yourself: “What is the outcome I want?” 

The more you ask yourself this question every day for any project or goal that comes your way, the more productive you will become in things that matter most to you.

Your Turn: Please share your insights in the comments below, or feel free to use the image to post on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter with the hashtag #TransformIn2017.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

Liza

PS

I will be moving to a self-hosted site soon, and I don’t know if I will be able to move my blog subscribers with me. So, I’m collecting email addresses just in case. I’d love it if you would enter in your name and email address just to let me know that you’d like to move over with me. If not, that’s cool! 🙂

PPS

If you wanted to follow along with my daily workouts, I’ve attached tomorrow’s workout below!

WORKOUT FOR MONDAY:

I chose to do body weight exercises for this week so that you will have no excuses to start right away! From warm up to smoothie, this should take about 15 minutes!

(Click HERE to get details and links to instructions/form tutorials!)

todays-workout

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, or you could also fill out this form!

Thank you and I’ll see you again tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

Is ‘Write What You Know’ Blocking You From Your Writing Goals?

I think it’s a disservice when phrases make the rounds without proper context.

I experienced this when I was aggressively pursuing my fitness goals.  I’m pretty methodical, and don’t deviate from what I know works: lift weights, sprint, eat real food (but not too much).  But, I have friends on fitness forums/blogs confused by every “new” thing they hear on well-meaning news outlets and reality shows.  Things like:

“Good carbs, bad carbs”

“Say NO to Cardio”

“Calories in, Calories out”

Within the fitness community, these phrases have context and when used and understood correctly, can help you achieve your physical fitness goals.  Otherwise, these phrases can seem vague, meaningless, or contradictory and ultimately, can frustrate someone who really wants to achieve lasting physical changes.

Write What You Know.

I know most writers treat the phrase “Write what you know” cautiously, and have learned to deal with it in their own way, whether through modifying it, defining it, or defying it.  I know writers who have defined the phrase broadly, such as researching more or tapping in to another person’s experience.  I know others who have defied it by saying simply, “Just Write”.  I kinda did all three when I chose to rephrase it as: “Write what you can dream.”

The crux of the statement that may hinder anyone outside of the writing community from taking that leap of faith into the writing world is that pesky “know”.  But once you can overcome the limits you place on your definition of the word “know”, you will begin to feel a sense of freedom.  Almost like you’ve given yourself permission to write as freely as you want to.  I know I felt that way.  I have often thought, “well, what’s the point in writing about that because I don’t know everything there is to know about it?”  Once I changed my hangup around the word “know” and started believing in “write what I can dream,” my motivation and drive to accomplish my writing goal increased exponentially.

I will be talking more about inspiration sometime soon, but when it comes to “finding inspiration” (or what I call, filling up my dream well), I think Stephen King said it best: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”  The more stories you consume the more fodder your subconscious has to work with.  Snippets of your everyday will form great landscapes and endless worlds.  All you have to do is feed your muses.  Keep them entertained and eventually, they will deign to give you a few golden threads you can follow as you navigate your writing path.

SO TELL ME: What are some writerly phrases that you think send mixed signals outside of a writing community?  Are there phrases that you have redefined along your writing journey that inspires you better? Thank you for commenting